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January 07, 2015 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:13 PM

finding nemo

Bill - He never came by, never called etc. Christmas came and it was wonderful. He was with us in spirit as he can't drive his car in the snow. Then spent the weekend with us. Then he went away and didn't talk to me. He sent me a Happy New Year text and I replied back. I didn't hear from him again until this past Saturday. He started talking about money and I asked him about coming home again. It went downhill from there. I asked him if can't afford the apartment, isn't coming home, then is he moving someplace else. He hung up on me. I tried to call back but he put me on ignore. I haven't heard from him since. He had made plans with our daughter and he never contacted her to say he can't take her or anything. She has her own cell phone now that he bought her, so there's no reason why he can't contact her.

5:13 PM

Bill

Finding Nemo: Hum, sounds like he is still engaged but indecisive. I met with a good friend of mine today who is in the midst of a midlife crisis. It was a stunning reminder to me of how lost good men can get and how difficult it is for them to think and realize the consequences of what they are doing. My friend is wallowing in guilt and shame. He goes back and forth from taking responsibility to blaming others for all that he is feeling. It sounds like your husband is doing something similar. He seems to want to be in your lives but then he gets his with emotions that overwhelm him and acts "weird."

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December 31, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-7 pm PST / CR#2

5:57 PM

finding nemo

Bill - He's threatening to get them into trouble at work, hurt them in any which way that they can. She told me she stayed overnight with him and he tossed and turned all night long. If she held him he would settle down. He's simmered down a bit in regard to the friends, but she isn't sure where to go with this as this is not normal behavior for him.

5:57 PM

Bill

finding nemo: Without knowing the whole story, you are describing someone is in turmoil with himself. It could be spiritual in nature or it could be developmental or it could be emotional turmoil over unresolved pain. It is obviously triggered very quickly and has an intense influence on him. To set a game plan, some investigation is in order. The best thing is for him to meet with someone who is experienced in diagnosing his reactions (counselor, skilled pastor, etc.).

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December 17, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:53 PM

finding nemo

Bill, dumbfounded2 - His words to me a few days ago were that he doesn't have a job and he also said, I am just going to mess things up again. I didn't know what to say to him other than he doesn't know what the future holds and he's human so I expect him and I both to make mistakes. We still have to try. As far as the job, I told him now is the time we needed to work together more than ever. I don't know how far that went, but I tried.

5:53 PM

Bill

finding nemo: The good thing is he is being vulnerable. In my opinion, the best thing you can do is simply say that you are here. Your soft presence is better than answers since the statement, "I am just going to mess things up," is not fact based - it is emotion based. Safety will be more effective than logic.

 

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November 19, 2014 / Wednesday 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:16 PM

Tiger

hey Bill- I just read dumbfounded's post and I kind of have the same thing, except. I cannot go two weeks without contacting my husband. Last week I texted him Thursday, Friday, Sat, and Sun. He answered all of them immediately. He always does, but He never contacts me first. Should I just keep up the contact with me initiating it or back off and see if he ever will on his own?

5:16 PM

Bill

dumbfounded2 and Tiger: This is another example of MLCers engaging in behavior that doesn't make logical sense. The more you think about, the harder it is to figure out. Of course, husbands should stay in contact with their wives. Of course, dads ought to initiate contact with his kids and their mother. The fact they aren't doing this is evidence of how off track they have are currently or how much their skills are behind the reality of their lives. In my opinion, the best response is to be who you are. What I mean by that is you are in a good place if you are contacting your spouse on the same schedule you would contact a good friend. Since you are linked to this person, it makes sense you would include him in your natural rhythm. Going beyond this draws this into a chaotic routine. Doing less than this leads you away from being the genuine you.

 

 

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November 05, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:06 PM

Little Magpie

Bill - This past weekend a couple of us wondered if you would be interested in teaching us How to Trust God.

5:10 PM

Bill

All: What does it mean to trust God? This is a big topic so my thoughts may be a little random but together we can gain insight. Observation #1: Trust involves out whole being. Your mind, body, will and emotions are all involved. First and foremost, you must be convinced that God is alive, God is good and God is committed to work everything together for good to those who love him. This is based on Hebrews 11:6 and Romans 8:28. It can be hard to see this through circumstances because some scenarios in life look wrong and bad to us. When we can't figure it out on our own, trust holds to the thought that God is somehow, someway working everything together so it eventually turns out to be good.

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October 29, 2014 / Wednesday with Bill Farrel / CR#2

5:18 PM

dumbfounded2

Bill - I like what you are saying to Tiger about boundaries. I am currently trying to decide a boundary on how my husband interacts with our son. His cycling where he makes contact with our son, then withdraws and disappears is not emotionally healthy for our son and as a 14 yr old I sense his anger/disappointment more and more. I am trying to decide how to handle this. I have tried talking to my husband but he is so self involved that he can’t see what it does to our son

5:23 PM

bill

dumbfounded2@18 My advice is to focus more on your son than your husband. This is a great time to begin training him how boundaries work. It is unlikely you will be able to leverage your husband's behavior but you can train your son to be healthy even around an unhealthy person. For instance, you can help your son set up a schedule of when he is available to spend time with dad. He can then communicate this schedule with his dad. When dad keeps the schedule they spend time together. When dad tries to "cycle" with the schedule, you can train your son to say, "I am sorry I can't do that right now but next week on Tuesday I am wide open."

 

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October 15, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:23 PM

finding nemo

Bill - I have used ultimatums based on boundaries. It doesn't stick though. For instance, I have told my husband that if he wants to be with OW2, then he needs to be with her and not come around me or talk to me. Cut all ties with me and move on. He will not talk to me for a few days and then he comes back full force full of I love you and I don't want a divorce - and is still with OW2. I cave because I want to believe him.

5:23 PM

Bill

Finding Nemo (and All): Thank you for sharing this story. What you described is actually not a boundary. Don't feel bad because most people do what you described and think they are setting boundaries. What you actually did was make a wish. What I mean by that is you outlined choices and behaviors your husband needs to take. Since you have no control over what your husband will say or do, it ends up being a wish for his behavior to change. Wishes seldom work because it gives all control to the person who has the least healthy outlook on life at the moment.

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October 08, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:36 PM

dogwood

Bill I wonder if I should give him a deadline of making changes or, ask him to make a choice. He kept telling me it is complicated and he knows that he is wrong, but things will change, because he knows that his other relationship is not going anywhere.

5:36 PM

Bill

dogwood: It is totally up to you if you want to give him a deadline. You will get lots of opinions as you ask people but everyone else who gives you advice will not be affected by the decision like you will be. As a result, you have to search your heart to see what risk you want to take and what consequences you want to live with. My opinion is that divorce never really solves anything - it just redefines things and you still have a lifelong relationship with your spouse. It makes sense to me to stay at it as long as you possibly can, not because it is good or satisfying but because it lines up with the covenant commitment you made. To live it out, however, you have to be good at boundaries so you don't sacrifice your own self-respect as you are waiting to see what God does.

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October 1, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:25 PM

finding nemo

Bill - He goes away, gains his strength, then comes back. He says he is working hard to find ways to shorten this time away so that I don't instantly go to "he's with his girlfriend" kind of thinking. He says he doesn't have a girl friend. She is just someone he has talked to on occasion. He says that I wear his out because I am full force trying to find peace in this life and he can't always keep up.

5:25 PM

Bill

finding nemo: Wow, your description is a vivid reminder of why focusing on our own growth is so important during these strenuous seasons. He is still reactive in the sense he wants to do what is right, finds it hard to do, runs away, gets tired of being disconnected from his family and seeks to reconnect. Then he blames the difficulty of this on your pursuit of peace! Living in reaction to him would be exhausting, hence the need to stay focused on becoming the people we want to be with God's help.

 

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September 24, 2014 / Wednesday Chat with Bill 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:50 PM

Little Magpie

Bill - Even though my husband drives me nuts and is one of my greatest causes of frustration he is also a blessing. He has loved me and stuck by me even with all of my faults and shortcomings due to the intimacy issues from my past that I am now working to overcome. He forgives me. I don't understand it. You saw it didn't you? I don't get it. I hold things against him still. Things that were broken and long missing I still harbor resentments even though I try not to. I can't help it.

5:50 PM

Bill

little magpie: Thank you for sharing this. Your husband is with you because there is a real connection between the two of you. You have similar hurts. You have similar brokenness in your lives. As a result, you are able to be patient and intense with each other. Having said that, there are times when you get out of sync. Your needs intersect with his weaknesses and vice versa. This leaves both of you hurting and feeling inadequate. Hence, the times of frustration. Because you "get each other" however, you end up coming back to one another and reconnecting.

 

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September 17, 2014 / Wednesday 5-6 pm PST / CR#2

5:47 PM

dogwood

Bill sometimes, I feel that our approach to our husband is overly protective, and finding all excuses to justify their wrong behavior and deny our own needs in a marital relationship? I wonder if I constantly justify husband's wrong choices and behavior for him. what if husband will continue his path without turning back? where is the line

5:47 PM

Bill

dogwood: I have never heard you justify your husband's bad behavior. You are very aware it is unhealthy and unproductive. You just seem to have this relentless hope that a real marriage will return. You are to be commended for this patience and persistence. You are also free to confront him as strongly as you would like. There would be nothing "wrong" with that and no one would blame you. The difficulty comes with the fragile way MLCers respond to concerned confrontation. They tend to be so emotional and self-absorbed they react and run away. We encourage patience because we assume you don't want him to run away.

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